Tag Archives: We Came From Wolves

Nieves, Kyle Burgess (We Came From Wolves) at Broadcast, 9/12/16

Despite being a bit of a Grinch, and generally trying my damnedest to avoid all things Christmas, Nieves now annual festive show is an exception to the rule, and an emerging tradition I can totally get on board with.

After spending the best part of an hour ensnared in less than festive Friday night traffic I’m disappointed to have missed tonight’s first support act Jack James, who gets added to the bucket list for next year (because if the Nieves lads rate him he’ll be worth checking out).

I am however, just in time for Kyle Burgess, front man for Perth-based indie rock outfit We Came from Wolves, who tonight is stepping out of his comfort zone and playing a solo acoustic set, featuring pared-back versions of tracks from the band’s self-titled debut album.

More indie than rock this evening, Burgess confesses that he’s not sure how well this experiment will work, as Wolves’ material tend to be “fast, loud and power chord-y”.

It’s safe to say that despite his reservations the stripped-back set is a total pleasure, and after rattling through a number of album tracks, Burgess takes a moment to introduce We Came from Wolves new Christmas charity single ‘Better Than This’, a reworked version of ‘I Need Something’, which the band have released to help fundraise for Perthshire homelessness charity CATH; a cause well deserving of support.

With a massive gig supporting Fatherson in Middlesbrough lined up for early in the New Year, and their debut album in the pipeline, 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for Nieves, who have evidently been working their arses off on new material over the last few months.

The band kick off tonight’s headline set with previously un-played track ‘Predator’ before settling into well established ‘Black Tie’, an insightful, brutal rendering of the emotional turmoil experienced after the death of a loved one.

Incongruously, given the always dark nature of Nieves’ song writing, tonight’s stage is bedecked with tinsel, and frontman Brendan Dafters is sporting a rather fetching Santa hat, which in no way detracts from the fact that this is a band unafraid to tackle the grittiest of subject matter.

‘Dove’, released earlier this year, makes an excellent recent addition to the band’s live repertoire, and thanks to a belter of a chorus, combined with the now trademark interplay being Herre de Leur’s impeccable keys and Ross Forsyth’s considerable skills on percussion, even sees some guys slow-motion headbanging down the front.

After a brief comedic interlude whilst the band strong-arm guitarist Martin Murray into a pink My Little Pony Christmas T-shirt (who knew that was even a thing?), they launch into the world’s best, most miserable Christmas song.

Featuring lyrics “this year has been a bastard/ twelve months crawling on the floor”, ‘The Cure’ is surely on par with The Pogues for seasonal wretchedness.

One of the band’s many talents is their uncanny knack for communicating genuine emotion, without ever appearing trite.

This is particularly evident in ‘Broken Oars’; the storytelling of everyday tragedy, the type that affects us all, both horribly relatable and oddly comforting.

The final third of tonight’s set shifts focus towards new material, sharper and edgier than previous offerings, and no less scrupulously fashioned.

Coming with the caveat that “the words, music and names will probably all change” the band treat the now hooked crowd to three massive tracks, the last of which, as yet untitled, in particular piques my interest.

Despite declaring that if he drums too hard he’ll hit the really very low ceiling, Forsyth holds nothing back as an epic, monster of a drum intro drives the track forward; and, at its’ conclusion, when asked if they reckon that this one should make it on to the album, the answer from the crowd is a resounding yes.

Percussion continues to set the tone, as the band segue into gorgeous final track ‘Empty Book’ to end the evening on a high note… pun very much intended.

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Words: Kat McNicol

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, 6/8/16

It’s déjà vu on the final day of Belladrum, as I find myself once again in the XpoNorth Seedlings tent at the crack of dawn (in festival terms anyway).

We Came From Wolves (2)

This time however it’s with far higher hopes, as Herald Unsigned winners We Came From Wolves are up to kick things off, a band whose moody alt rock has been on my radar since their first demo release in early 2013.

They’ve considerably improved in their craft since then, with far more compelling lyrics deeply rooted not only in strong Glaswegian identity, but also a longing to hit the road, as well as in their stage presence; frontman Kyle Burgess holds the attention of the small crowd with ease despite the early hour.

The highlight of the set comes in the form of new single ‘Ruiner’ (which Burgess self-deprecatingly describes as “about being a wee rat bastart”), a crashing storm of pop punk fury reminiscent of the best of early Twin Atlantic.

I realise I’ve neglected the Grassroots Folk heart of the festival and so spend my next few hours comfortably nestled among the elderly camping chair crew.

Tamzene (3)

It’s not quite my scene, but even then a number of acts stand out: the first, a singer-songwriter by the name of Tamzene appears to have walked straight out of an album cover, and puts on a performance that oozes professionalism.

Despite a powerful voice which could easily impress the likes of industry demon Simon Cowell, she’s instead taken the far more traditional route of recording her own music and building a fan base organically, and judging by the strength of the audience it already appears to be paying off.

Tweed (3)

Ceildh rock band Tweed also catches my attention with their raring traditional music.

Composed of a fiddler, accordionist and drummer, the trio whips the large tent into a frenzy with original compositions and even the odd cover such as Survivor’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, which, under the circumstances, actually sounds surprisingly good.

Admittedly, the gimmick of launching small packets of peanuts into the crowd goes somewhat over my head (literally) but you can’t argue with free snacks.

Man Of Moon (5)

Man Of Moon are the last band I catch before the mysterious main stage secret set, and it’s something of a change of pace; the sudden downpour has sent people flooding into the Hothouse Tent for shelter turning it into less of a ‘hot house’ and more an ‘uncomfortably roasting house’.

It proves to be perfect timing though as the Edinburgh two-piece’s dark and dreamlike sound goes hand in hand with the grey sky just meters away.

The brooding depth they produce within complex riff structures and simmering drums is incredible considering their tiny footprint on the stage, and just as the atmosphere builds to breaking point in Django Django cover ‘Waveforms’, guitarist Chris Bainbridge slices straight through it with a Showbiz era Matt Bellamy-esque guitar scream.

Elsewhere, a similar tension is rising as we wait to see who will take the empty afternoon Garden Stage slot.

Fatherson (16)

The answer, rising Scottish stars Fatherson, is hardly a surprising one: their name seems to appear almost every time the festival encounters a drop-out on its lineup.

The failure to amend the programs however sees the band playing to a crowd, which is initially one-third fans and two-thirds confused Bwani Junction seekers, who are now two to three hours off their initial time slot.

Friday’s sound problems continue to plague the set also as Fatherson enter the stage late and with massively under-mixed vocals, altogether making the decision to shoot a video for their new single then and there a curious one.

Still they deliver a set of their usual caliber to the rain drenched field, one which is nothing exceptional but provides just enough in the way of light rock to cry to, making donning your poncho worthwhile.

Indigo Velvet (13)

In the hunt for something to dry off to I discover Indigo Velvet, the perfect pick-me-up.

Their tropical bubble-gum indie pop is nothing short of addictive and I’m baffled by their low positioning on the Seedlings stage when similar bands such as the 1975 have enjoyed such a meteoric rise to fame with far less charming members; guitarist Jason Tucker in particular is a real pleasure to watch.

Bwani Junction (7)

The feel-good mood continues with Bwani Junction on the main stage performing Paul Simon’s classic album Graceland in its entirety, alongside original vocalist Diane Garisto.

There’s no shortage of smiles in the crowd as a conga line is orchestrated within the short space between opener ‘The Boy In The Bubble’ and ‘I Know What I Know’, rapidly followed up by a couple’s engagement just before ‘You Can Call Me Al’, which is announced onstage by a delighted Dan Muir and only serves to heighten the atmosphere for what is undoubtedly Graceland’s best known track.

It’s a shame to hear that the sound tech is still struggling and Garisto’s stunning vocals are only barely audible throughout, including during duet ‘Crazy Love, Vol. II’.

Still, Muir’s voice triumphs over the incredibly large backing band (featuring a full horn section and bongos) and does justice to Simon’s original.

Public Service Broadcasting (8)

Acknowledging that the festival is almost over with this next set is bitter sweet, and with Public Service Broadcasting’s absurdly long set-up process there’s plenty of downtime to think about it.

Thankfully their novel sample-filled electronica is worth waiting for.

Entirely instrumental, tweed clad keyboardist J. Willgoose, Esq. doesn’t open his mouth once throughout the set, choosing instead to communicate through a text to speech program and add vocal depth to the music using clips from propaganda material and old public information announcements.

It’s bizarre, and hopefully not stagnant on repeat viewings, but they don’t rely on this gimmick to carry them instead crafting genuinely atmospheric and powerful tracks about everything from the space program to airplanes.

I leave early to catch the headliners, but as the band are introduced one by one, the strains of a trumpet cover and deafening sing-along to ‘Flower Of Scotland’ follow me out.

Madness (29)

Said headliners are, of course, Madness, much talked about by almost everyone I’ve spoken to since the site opened.

They pull the biggest crowd of the entire weekend by far, stretching all the way from the stage and up the hills towards the massive glowing metal heart erected at the back of the Garden arena, and I reckon about eighty percent of those people have had a little too much to drink.

Despite lacking the nostalgia factor and not really understanding the hype around Madness, I’m determined to give them the best shot I can.

And it starts off relatively well with almost exactly the same setlist I saw back at Glastonbury: ‘The Prince’ in all its saxophone solo glory and ‘My Girl’ with its cresendo-ing intro go down a treat, as do the bits and pieces of London banter peppered in from frontman Suggs.

However, I seem to have chosen the worst place possible to view the rest of the set from, and once I get there I’m stuck: security are trying to avoid a full-scale riot on the stairs by insisting on a one-way system in which you can come down, but you can’t get back up.

Perched on the steep hill, slick from the day’s rain, I enjoy what I can of the tracks I recognise: ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘House Of Fun’ and ‘Our House’ are as foot-tappingly infectious as ever, but encourage a more active crowd, leading not only to multiple trips down the slopes but also a loud argument between staff on the stairs and irritated patrons.

This continues for most of the rest of the show and by time I’ve escaped, the band have been replaced by a piper who plays, what do you know, ‘Flower Of Scotland’ for the second time that night.

Madness eventually return and finish up with a grand display of fireworks and light, but through no fault of their own the mood has been ruined somewhat.

I wander back to my tent in the rain, for the last time, with an overall positive impression of the weekend but a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

More Photos

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Words/Photos: Aimee Boyle

We Came From Wolves – ‘I Need Something’ [Saraseto]

We Came From Wolves’ self-titled debut album cemented their status as one of the best alternative rock acts emerging from the Scottish scene.

‘I Need Something’ is the final single from the record and is an emotional end to the album cycle, with singer Kyle Burgess calling the track a “battle cry for a better life, one with meaning and worth”.

The first half of the song is mellow, with a simple guitar to keep the focus on the lyrics, which discuss Burgess’ feelings of isolation from his hometown of Perth after moving to Glasgow to focus on creating music.

The rest of the band then come crashing in and the song swells up to an emotional climax, with the repeated, “I just need something deca mix lyka labs kamensk shakhtinsky sustaver better than this” begging you to sing along.

The Wolves have now returned home after extensive touring to work on their next album, which is already highly anticipated.

It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with next after such a successful year, but no doubt the polished guitars and raw lyrics will remain their defining features.

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Words: Shannon McGarrity

We Came From Wolves – ‘Ruiner’ [Saraseto]

After an impressive year touring the UK three times and supporting the likes of The Xcerts, Tellison and The LaFontaines, We Came From Wolves release their first single of the year, ‘Ruiner’, taken their self-titled debut album.

Described by songwriter Kyle Burgess as a frank and bleak self-assessment of a dark period in his early 20’s the track battles with the disappointing realisation that you have caused others pain via selfish choices.

For a track that focuses on such sombre matters, it starts off relatively upbeat, as Burgess’ vocals chime in between repetitive guitar riffs and crisp drumming.

It’s not long until the Wolves take a heavier turn, allowing time to showcase the band’s musicianship through some brilliant melodic interludes, before Burgess’ chanting vocals take centre stage to convey the track’s final message – “I am a selfish man, but it was never my intention just a truthful apprehension on my part”.

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Words: Jess Lavin

FCK YES presents We Came From Wolves at Tut’s, 9/12/15

After bracing ourselves to go out in the stereotypical wintery Scottish weather, we made our way to Tut’s for our pals Fck YES’ first Christmas party.

We arrive fashionably late to the brilliantly decorated venue, just in time to catch alt rock four-piece We Came From Wolves’ set.

Tonight the Wolves boys are recording their set for their first live album and open with personal favourite ‘Glasgow Stranger’.

The first couple of tracks run smoothly as the band deliver superb melodies matched with heartfelt vocals.

Sadly around halfway in they face a number of technical problems completely out of their control, the band work hard to pull things back but it seems bad luck is in the air as frontman Kyle Burgess’ guitar strings snap.

It is clear the band is disappointed with tonight’s performance as Burgess offers those in the audience a free download of their album.

However despite tonight’s setbacks they give it their all from start to finish, seeing the irony of the situation and laughing it off.

I have been lucky enough to see We Came From Wolves live a number of times and have never been disappointed and tonight was no exception.

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Words: Jess Lavin the goose

Scottish Alternative Music Awards at The Garage, 8/10/15

After three successful showcases the sixth SAMAs main event is finally here with a line up full of past winners and current nominees.
We Came From Wolves open up the night with a mix of new and old songs from their album and previous EP.

As the warm up act for tonight they go down well with plenty of attendees focusing their attention on the soon to be ‘Best Rock Act’.
They give a good show and look genuinely proud to be playing tonight.

Crash Club know how to completely take over a venue and cause an uproar of elation and madness.

Electro and rock, they bring a euphoric and psychedelic twist to tonight’s line up, they bring the rooms vibe to a whole new level with everyone dancing to the never stopping beats and prominent guitars that work so well with each other.

Tonight they don’t have any guest vocalists, it may have added something extra, but generally Crash Club once again are able to perform an ecstatic performance with some of the best lightning of the night.

They happen to win ‘Best Electric Act’ after being nominated two years in a row.

Last years ‘Best Hip Hop’ winners, and oddly not nominated for that or ‘Best Live’ this year, Hector Bizerk have the pleasure of closing proceedings.

What a year they have had thinking back to March 2014 when frontman Louie claimed their award with a memorable rap that people still go on about.

Like Crash Club they are experts at hyping a crowd up; both band and audience aren’t holding back with even a giant Hector flag waving about.

Fan favourite ‘Party in A&E’ is played with some excellent drumming from Audrey Tait.

Marc Rooney of Pronto Mama makes an appearing later on in the set and provides the vocals for new song ‘They Made A Porno On a Mobile Phone and Everybody Laughed’ that goes down brilliantly with an exhilarated crowd.

Another successful year for the SAMAs, some well deserved winners, and some that we maybe don’t agree with, but we’ll chalk that down to personal opinion for the time being.

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Words: Olivia Campbell

We Came From Wolves – ‘Where’d Your Love Go?’ [Saraseto]

After the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album and sold out release show We Came From Wolves return with a string of live dates and new single, ‘Where’d Your Love Go?’.

The four-piece have taken a step back from the pop punk melodies present in their previous releases, as their sound has developed becoming much heavier and punchier in the process.

This development is clear in ‘Where’d Your Love Go?’ as the track begins with a spine-chilling riff before frontman Kyle Burgess’ haunting and heartfelt vocals kick-in.

The catchy beat present during the chorus really grabs your attention and partnered with almost chanted vocals creates the unique sound that really makes this single stand out.

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Words: Jess Lavin

We Came From Wolves – ‘Glasgow Stranger’ [Saraseto]

We Came From Wolves have gone from strength to strength since releasing their Paradise Place EP last year.

Fresh from a UK tour and some festival appearances, they released their self-titled debut album in June and ‘Glasgow Stranger’, the latest single to be released from the album, is a cracker!

Their sound is reminiscent of early Twin Atlantic or Sucioperro, and clocking in at just over three-and-a-half-minutes, its’ a track full of hard hitting riffs and drums.

Vocalist Kyle Burgess tackles subjects such as missing home and moving somewhere new, all whilst maintaining an upbeat rock feel.

‘Glasgow Stranger’ is another cracking single from what was one of the more promising rock releases to come out of Scotland this year.

Words: Tony Fitzpatrick

We Came From Wolves – We Came From Wolves [Saraseto]

Hailing from the town of Perth, We Came From Wolves have went from strength to strength throughout their relatively short career.

From touring the UK twice to receiving over 15,000 views on their first music video, it has been a fantastic few years for those in the ‘Wolves’ camp.

After a busy year touring in support of their Paradise Place EP, 2015 sees the release of their long awaited debut self-titled album.

The band pulled off a masterstroke drafting in Bruce Rintoul (Fatherson, Twin Atlantic) to capture their sound, this album sounds absolutely huge from the word go.

‘Glasgow Stranger’ opens with a thunderous bouncy Reuben-esque riff that sets the tone for the whole track.

This song tackles a few different subjects close to vocalist Kyle Burgess’ heart; when asked about the meaning behind the song Burgess mentions feelings of isolation and alienation from the goings on back home, having moved from Perth to Glasgow to focus on the career of the band.

Although the lyrics are personal to him, the subject is extremely relatable for many, making this one of the most accessible and relatable songs on the album.

Bassist Rob Whytock and drummer Harrison White really carry the track through the verses, a thumping and relentless rhythm section like this is invaluable to any rock band.

Coupled with a soaring chorus melody that will get stuck in your head for days, this cements ‘Glasgow Stranger’ as an early favourite from the record.

‘Am I Useful’ maintains the frenetic pace with another killer opening riff, it soon makes way to a chorus laden riff from lead guitarist Taylor White.

This gels perfectly with Burgess’ soft delivery and melancholy lyrics about doubting your own aspirations, a subject many people can relate to.

‘Am I Useful’ packs another huge chorus hook reminiscent of fellow Scots Twin Atlantic that will be in your head for days on end.

It is no surprise this was chosen as the opening single, it is without doubt the standout track on the record.

‘Validate Me’ shows a very different, but equally heavy and catchy side to We Came From Wolves, opening with an acoustic guitar, it soon transcends into another heavy riff.

The slower tempo creates a totally different vibe that works equally as well as the other songs; again Whytock and White move the track along nicely with their thunderous bass and drum parts.

This is a solid release from one of the most exciting bands in Scotland at the moment; brimming with hooks, riffs and massive sing-along lyrics it is sure to go down well on their next tour.

We Came From wolves is the culmination of years of perfecting and refining their sound, each song is well thought out and everything serves a purpose.

We Came From Wolves are set for a big year.

Words: Andy McGonigle

T in the Park, Saturday, 12/7/14

Day two of the final weekend in Balado is more typical fair, in terms of Scottish weather at least, as the drizzly conditions descend over the well loved fields latest chart sensation Kiesza treats those early risers to a catchy synchronised dance filled rendition of number one single ‘Hideaway’, I wander past on route to T Break to catch the end Glasgow based Perth boys We Came From Wolves.

When I get there, arriving early today still doesn’t quite cut it for getting in on time due to the overwhelming popularity of Saturday day tickets, it doesn’t surprise to find a bigger than usual crowd sheltering from the rain, regardless the band seem to be hitting a chord with their fast paced, clap along, pop tinged jaggy rock sound.

I only get to see around one and a half songs but it’s certainly enough to peak my attention for the next time they’re playing back home; it’s then time to head back over to the media tent to gage the days events after early rush.

In the midst of the confusion I manage to somehow miss bolshy funfair popsters The Moon Kids, but do manage to at least see the second half of The Stranglers, or one half of The Stranglers depending on how you see it, and although the veteran rockers may not be the best choice for the youngsters they go down well with the Balado regulars and ‘No More Heroes’ ticks another big track of the ‘seen live’ list.

Over at Radio One Sophie Ellis-Bextor gives us a few disco tinged pop numbers spaced out by some rather whimsical newer efforts, while making us feel old by stating this is her first T in the Park since 1998, when you take a glance at her back catalogue this is pretty hard to believe since her rise to fame through Spiller number one single ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’ was only in 2000.

Still wether Sophie thinks she’s older than she actually is, 35 incidentally and looking good for it, it’s a fun filled set, but her dancing in a pretty much see through negligee, albeit a little more tasteful that Charli XCX yesterday, feels a touch inappropriate.

Still the afore mention Spiller single, a cover of Moloko’s ‘Sing It Back’ and her best known solo effort ‘Murder On The Dance Floor’ boost up the disco vibes and get the good times feeling flowing before as and Sophie herself puts it: “like Mary Poppins I fly away”.

Back over at the Main Stage the dubstep infected pop of Katy B is a graspingly infectious follow up, as the Londoner’s distinct accent washes over gathering crowd, who’re enjoying a rare dry spell.

B is joined by four black and white clad dancers and puts on a very active display, strutting and skipping around the stage while giving us her enjoyable pop tinged spin on many London based dance movements.

Her more urban effected tracks get the biggest reaction this afternoon, as break out 2010 singles ‘Katy On A Mission’ and ‘Lights On’ spark a massive reaction from the ever growing Main Stage audience.

Over at T Break I catch two non ‘T Break’ acts back to back, the first of which is Berkshire raised, pixie cropped teenager Chloe Howl who twitches around the stage in almost hyperactive fashion, while delivering some shimmering electronic pop in her distinct southern English accent.

She’s certainly not off putting for those sheltering from the weather and with a major label behind her it wouldn’t be a surprise if this girl was massive in years in come.

The infectious pop rock of Aussie’s The Jezabels follows at the same stage, and the band who have been making waves on touring with Depeche Mode and the Pixies do themselves no harm today as singer Hayley Mary flows across the stage delivering powerful vocals akin to Stevie Nicks in delivery, while also managing to hit high notes Kate Bush would be proud of.

Chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” from the crowd are shunned by the band not wanting to stereotyped like their countrymen in the crowd, instead they move through a set of building rockers that would have people of all ages hooked.

Mary gives her fellow Aussie’s a slightly back handed nod by saying “thanks for the flag but put it down now”, before giving a nod to September’s referendum and then finishing on the soaring ‘A Little Piece’.

It’s then time to play count the bucket hats as Manchester Britpop forerunners and T in the Park regulars James deliver the typical fun filled singalong as hits like ‘Sit Down’ and ‘Laid’ ring around the festival well after the set is done.

Over at BBC Introducing, a stage featuring less Scottish acts than it did last year, possibly down to the acts that got a shot at Big Weekend in Glasgow back in May, Dundee’s Copper Lungs play to a mobbed tent and look like they’re in their element.

The four-piece’s pop edged post-hardcore sounds perfectly at home in these surroundings and with room to spare, live all the whiney edges of the records that make them somewhat of a acquired taste are shaved off and the raw energetic performance is a joy to behold, enough to convince anyone that if they continue on the same projectory they’ll get to play bigger stages than this in years to come.

The Amazing Snakeheads close off Introducing tonight and the band that are so often given the Marmite description prove that whether you love them or hate them they’re certainly not dull with performance that riles the crowd into sheer frenzy.

It’s high octane stuff from start to finish as Dale Barclay’s sneery punk delivery and maddened grin are offset perfectly by William Coombe’s bouncing bass and slithering movements, it’s in your face psychedelic rock that moves from rockabilly to punk in the blink of an eye and would scare many watching Rudimental over at the Main Stage.

But as Barclay swigs a bottle of Buckfast and passes to along the front row and mosh pits break loose, these Glasgow boys prove they are anything but boring.

Next up is the most difficult choice of the evening as Pharrell Williams and The Human League’s set run into one another, but as Pharrell has a good 20-minute start on the Sheffield new wavers we start off at the Main Stage and see how it goes.

As you would expect it’s infectious stuff and Pharrell in that now iconic hat struts around the stage knowing just how cool he is opening with Daft Punk’s ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’; it’s amazing to consider Pharrell’s back catalogue and still hard to believe that he’s in his 40s, but as the torrential rain blasts down Pharrell’s funk filled festival friendly set is exactly what is needed.

A quick rendition of Nelly’s ‘Hot In Herre’ from his production back catalogue heats things up before the man of the moment lifts the crowd again, recognising the horrid condition and shouting “you are officially here to party” before introducing a couple of N.E.R.D numbers.

Giving a nod to the crowd’s “relentless Scottish energy” Pharrell introducing his dance crew, The Babes, who break loose as we get a run through or some of Pharrell’s biggest production hits, including Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollerback Girl’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop Like It’s Hot’, before performing Robin Thicke’s anthem ‘Blurred Lines’.

As I make my way over towards the King Tut’s Tent Pharrell brings Pinkie on stage, a girl who he announces “beat cancer” and as she receives a tearful hug from Virginia born superstar it’s a moment to step back to take check of what happening before ‘Happy’ launches the crowd to feverous joy once again.

Still as good as Pharrell is, nothing could quite prepare you for the glory of The Human League, who stamp their mark on the festival and leave the Arctic Monkeys with a lot to do if they want the glory of being Yorkshire’s favourite sons in Balado this weekend.

After getting a touch carried away with the hit after hit of Pharrell I arrive a good portion into their set, something instantly regreted as I arrive to the new wave glory of ‘(Keep Feeling) Fascination’, which proves just how good Phil Oakey and co are some 37-years in their career.

The packed tent is electric and the crowd are hanging off every word in a sheer party atmosphere, the huge cheer for “this is a song by my friend Giorgio Moroder” is glorious as Oakey’s track with the Italo disco legend ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ produces an emphatic dance along that is only topped by the the crowd singing every word to iconic hit ‘Don’t You Want Me’ before Oakey had even picked up the mike again.

The singalong continues long after the band have left the stage, but leaves a somewhat odd feeling that the should be headliners have already happened.

Like last night I end my night on a triple bill of T Break, starting with the glitchy electronic of Glasgow trio Atom Tree, and after only forming a year ago their beautiful soundscapes are getting the justification they deserve much sooner than expected.

It’s a somewhat no frills live performance as the band let their haunting pulses do the talking, vocalist Julie Knox is almost stranded behind a table as she takes to synth duties when she could provide the act with a focal point that would add that extra element.

Still, after a hesitant start Knox’s sultry vocals are as captivating as the electronics, at time channeling Beach House’s Victoria Legrand as you lose yourself in a glistening electro daze.

It’s a whole different escape as Dundee’s Fat Goth prepare to take their stage, their press shot appearing on the screens looking much like something Dick Valentine would come away with; yes it’s brash, hilarious and rock ‘n’ roll, everything that the band themselves portray in vast quantities, they must not take themselves too seriously with a moniker such as Fat Goth, right?

They even have their own entrance music, it’s wonderfully theatrical stuff even before the band start blasting their heavy metal riffs and infectiously urgent delivery as their tongue in cheek attitude makes them all the more likeable as people show face that wouldn’t necessarily listen to a band with such a heavy sound.

They don’t quite have the stage banter that you would expect from other bands of their ilk, but hilarity aside there’s distinct quality to these Dundonian’s output that would hook any adamant heavy metal fans as easily as it would someone looking for something a little more jovial than Elbow’s rather dull alt rock seemingly as performed by the cast of Shameless just outside.

Edinburgh’s guitar-laptop/drums duo Birdhead close off T Break on Saturday night with some pulsing bolshie krautrock inspired grooves and sparing but hooky shouted vocals from engaging frontman Stephen Donkin.

These guys manage to pull a bigger crowd than Tuff Love did last night, but it’s still not enough to do them justice as they sound massive for a duo and their uptempo sound in entrancing and much better than anything else on offer at the three big stages.

It is worth noting that as the rain hits us at it’s heaviest Calvin Harris brings Will Smith on stage to introduce him, not something that I manage to see but the Fresh Prince doesn’t perform any of his own hits so we’re putting that down as a let down avoided rather than some missed fun.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Bill Gray